Bourgoin-Jallieu is a town of 27 000 inhabitants, at the foot of the French Alps. As it is situated between two major city centres, Lyon and Grenoble, there is a high land demand for urban development. Meanwhile, the municipality had a project of developing a market gardening area that would provide organic vegetables to the municipal kitchen, which prepares food for schools, and other public services (e.g. pension home, etc.).
In 2010, the farm "Marais des Mûres" is put for sale. It is composed of 3,4 hectares of land, farm buildings and a farmhouse. The municipal council views it as the first step towards constituting a broader market gardening area. It asks the SAFER to pre-empt the land so as to avoid that it be bought for non-agricultural uses. At the same time, it contacts Terre de liens - which had already helped with a feasibility study of the market gardening area – to explore the possibility of jointly acquiring the farm.
In 2012, the farm is finally jointly bought by the municipal council and Terre de liens, in the following way:
– the municipality buys the farm house for €212 000 (with a subsidies from the local federation of municipalities and the Regional council covering about half the price)
– Terre de liens buys the land and the farm buildings, for €95 000, after raising money from local citizens and consumers,
– the municipality rents the farm house to Terre de liens with a leasehold (99-year emphyteutic lease) so that Terre de liens can rent it to the tenant farmer now and in the future
The SAFER had to hold on the land for over 8 months, which was the time needed for the partners to organise the acquisition scheme and for Terre de liens to raise the money needed for the farm land and buildings. The Regional Council paid the SAFER for enduring the costs of keeping the land during that period.
In 2012, a first market gardener starts organic production on the farm. She was joined in 2013 by a second market gardener.
Terre de liens, Agir sur le foncier agricole: un rôle essentiel pour les collectivités locales, 2015